Autotelic or Exotelic

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by nitro, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. nitro


    I am (re)reading "Finding Flow" -
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Author)

    In it he describes two types of personality, the autotelic and the exotelic personality. Autotelic is composed of two Greek roots, auto (self) and telos (goal). An autotelic activity is one that we do for its own sake. So I may play a game of chess simply for the joy it brings me, while if I played chess to make money or achieve fame, the same game would be exotelic.

    Most people on ET are exotelic, as evidenced for example at their incomprehension of a person such as this:

    It is this transition of being born autotelic to exotelic in adulthood that I believe is the metaphor that the bible describes in what is imo the most important story in the bible, the expulsion of man from Eden when he eats from the tree of knowledge.

    It is this extremist exotelic that makes terrorists out of so many in the world, imo.
  2. imo, I don't think so. Csikszentmihalyi, Maslow, and to an certain extent Ellis, all are asking "why" some can find self actualization(in the zone) and some can't. I believe it comes down to empathy. Terrorism and empathy are definitely not synonymous, but then again I haven't read them in a few years.
  3. Permit me to recommend what I believe is his first book: "The Holotropic Mind." It completely changed my life. I used to be a complete asshole. Now I am just an annoying jerk. I have not read the book you referenced, but I am going to make a stab at a new interpretation. In trading, an autotelic attitude brings exotelic profits. Let me give you a more down-to-earth example. When I was younger, I found that the more selflessly I worked to please the pussy I had, the more pussy I got. But then I am a male butch lesbian, so my opinion may not count.
  4. nitro


    Thanks I will look at it.

    I think that anyone that achieves greatness has to throw himself at his art. Unless there is at least some autotelic pleasure from doing this, I don't see how you can last in this field.

    I don't even know what a "male butch lesbian" means. Those words don't seem possible together. Are you saying you are a woman?
  5. Cheese


    Autotelic or exotelic descriptions pose opposites whereas a better interpretation is to pose a synthesis for the motives of those wanting to make money.

    In other words making big money can be very satisfying whether big spending is the primary motive or whether big or any spending is a secondary motive. Executing a successful system when trading day on day might be compared to a video game where you have the visual game screen of price on a chart in front of you together with a choice of action to play (buy or sell at different prices as they flow before you). You measure daily successful outcomes by the net points you make and you draw satisfaction from that repeated success (aside from your resulting real money accumulation). And you also draw satisfaction from being the mastermind who works out the principles and triggers of a methodology of successful play in the markets.
    Laissez Faire likes this.